The Good And The Bad Aspects of Smart Drugs (Nootropics)
Smart drugs – also called nootropics or cognitive enhancers – are substances, medications and supplements used to boost cognitive and memory functions. They are usually taken by healthy individuals to enhance their creativity and motivate them for optimal mental performance.
While it can be appealing to have a magic wand to get us do more under mentally demanding conditions, it is important to look into how defying the natural process of mental fatigue through the use of drugs and supplements can affect brain health in the long run.
In this article we will look at the good and bad sides of using smart drugs to help you understand the effects of nootropics on your health before you dabble into it.
The Good Side of Smart Drugs (Nootropics)
Nootropics have been around for decades, and people have been using them to keep life going at work, in schools, and for seniors needing to stimulate their memory and cognitive functions.
Some of the benefits of smart drugs are:
- Increased productivity. Many professionals, students and entrepreneurs can use some extra alertness, increased cognitive presence and boosted productivity that come with the use of smart drugs.
- Faster means to achievement. Nootropics can be used by professionals to enable them to do more with their time and thus earn more. It means the road to success is paved with increased ability to make things happen. More energy and focus means more tasks accomplished.
- Better thinking. Nootropics can be used to improve brain’s blood flow, oxygen supply, neurotransmitters, hormones and enzymes resulting in improved cognitive function and thinking ability. This can make a significant difference for people suffering from declined cognitive skills or poor memory.
The Bad Side of Smart Drugs (Nootropics)
There haven’t been many studies that evaluate the short- and long-term risks of using nootropics, however, most of the known products in this category are considered to be generally safe. The available information and user feedback found on relevant websites suggest that the majority of people using such products have not noticed any significant risks or ill effects, when used properly.
There are however some negative aspects to nootropics, including the following:
- Drug dependence and addiction. Most nootropic drugs and supplements on the market are unregulated. While most nootropics aren’t exactly addictive substances, it is possible that some people develop psychological addiction to these drugs.
- Altering normal functioning of the brain. Some of the chemical substances used to boost brain power can interfere with natural processes in the brain and body. While you can enjoy some benefits in the short run, it is not clear what long-term dangers may be associated with continued use of brain enhancers.
- May just be a waste! A lot of people learn about nootropics by reading rave reviews on forums or testimonials on product websites, which encourage them to buy and try, only to be disappointed later when the product doesn’t do anything for them. In fact, there is little clinical evidence to support the efficacy of most nootropics. Yes, some of them do work, but results tend to vary for each individual. What works well for one user may be completely useless for another.
Some Examples of Nootropics:
There are mainly three types of nootropics:
- Dietary supplements. Many medicinal herbs, vitamins and natural substances have been found to help improve brain health. Herbs like ginkgo biloba, bacopa monniera, and huperzia serrata; and vitamins like B6, B12, and B9 are among the top ingredients found in many brain and memory supplements available worldwide. A good example here is a product called Brain Pill which is an herbal formula intended to support memory and focus.
- Chemical compounds. These are mostly known as nootropic drugs and they are sold over the counter. Some of the popular examples are Noopept, Adrafinil, and Phenibut. They are not approved by the FDA, but they have shown effectiveness in helping people enhance their mental function.
- Prescription medications. Adderall, Ritalin, Modafinil, and other drugs are approved treatments for ADHD and other mental illnesses. Some healthy people also use these drugs to boost their focus and alertness. You cannot and should not buy these drugs without a doctor’s prescription since they can lead to considerable side effects and health risks. Always consult with your doctor before using any drug or supplement to make sure it is right and safe for you.